Classic Costa Rica without the crowds

Nov 22nd, 2019, 11:07 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,061
Good plan, j.
volcanogirl is online now  
Nov 22nd, 2019, 11:10 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,061
h, I'd stay at AOL if you're interested in hiking and wildlife. I'd stay at Tabacon if you're interested in the hot springs. For us going once a visit is enough, but if you want to go every night then stay somewhere with springs. AOL is located out by the lake off a long bumpy road; Tabacon is closer to town off the main road. Yes, we were shocked at the prices at Tabacon. The guy at the entrance said $70, and we thought he said 17 so that's what we gave him, and he started laughing - NO 70!

In Manuel Antonio, we love Tulemar Bungalows - really pretty and they have their own beach. Lots of sloths and monkeys right on site. You even get your own concierge.
volcanogirl is online now  
Nov 22nd, 2019, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,845
I agree with Volcanogirl about the choice between Tabacon and AOL. It really comes down to your priorities.

We chose AOL because we were more interested in the wildlife than the hot springs. And we loved our stay at AOL. We had a Smithsonian Room, which was very comfortable and nice - big sliding glass doors that looked out onto a patio and the volcano beyond. We slept with the curtains open so we woke up to that view We saw birds, monkeys, lizards, and coatis from our patio. We also really liked the grounds of the hotel - nice combination of landscaped and natural area, plenty of space to wander around, and a great observation deck by the restaurant with views of the lake. The pool is chilly, but the weather was warm, so I liked swimming in the cool pool. We also spent some time relaxing in the hot tub.

For hot springs, Tabacon did seem pricey, so we went to EcoThermales instead, which we really liked. And for us, one trip to the hot springs was enough. If we had stayed at a place with hot springs, I am sure we would have soaked more, but it wasn't a high priority for us.
november_moon is online now  
Nov 22nd, 2019, 04:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 36
What's AOL? I'm out of the loop!

How do you all feel about this itinerary? What would you change? Also, thank you for answering all of my many questions!

4/8-Arrive SJO
4/9-La Fortuna
4/10-La Fortuna
4/16-Cabo Matapalo
4/17-Cabo Matapalo
4/18-Cabo Matapalo
4/19-Cabo Matapalo to SJO
20-Fly home

Last edited by jj1206; Nov 22nd, 2019 at 04:30 PM.
jj1206 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2019, 05:35 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,061
AOL is the Arenal Observatory Lodge; another poster was asking about it. Easier to use the abbreviation.
volcanogirl is online now  
Nov 23rd, 2019, 11:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 36
Does anyone have experience stating at Finca Exotica. I'm comparing it to Bosque del Cabo. It's a lot less expensive but seems more remote.
jj1206 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2019, 06:56 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,061
We've only stayed at BdC, but I hear good things about Finca Exotica. It always seems to get good reviews.
volcanogirl is online now  
Nov 24th, 2019, 02:45 AM
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 50
Thanks everyone! Hard to make these decisions! Unfortunately AOL is booked but Iíll keep checking for cancellations. We have our villa in MA booked so we are set there. If anyone has any must do activities that area please let me know. Has anyone been to Rainwater?
hworth1976 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2019, 05:52 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 36
Oh goodness! We're trying to decide between Golfo Dulce Retreat and Bosque del Cabo. Has anyone been to the Golfito area? Is wildlife viewing comparable?
jj1206 is offline  
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